When the Waiting Won't End
I am in a long, and what feels like never-ending, season of waiting. Have you been here before? In the middle of a season of long suffering that seems to get worse and more difficult and more exhausting with each passing day?
I am really bad at waiting. Like, really bad. I am an ultra control freak and I am a doer. I am efficient and active, an initiator and go-getter. I am good at fixing problems and taking the lead and bringing organization to chaos. And yet, in this season, none of my efforts seems to be working. I am constantly being reminded of how little control I have, and the circumstances that surround me continue to swirl around chaotically, with no clear end in sight.
And in my waiting and suffering and yearning and pleading, my heart is growing weary and my mind defeated. I am believing lies, and I know it. I am doubting God's goodness, even though I know the truth deep down. I am tired. I am tired of waiting and tired of things going wrong and tired of so much working against me.
And no matter how hard I try or how incredible my efforts are, my circumstances remain the same. The suffering doesn't end. The pain remains. And I'm still waiting.
It wasn't until this morning - with the help of my husband and the Holy Spirit - that I began to realize and accept that maybe this isn't about the waiting and the suffering after all. Maybe it's not even about the circumstances and the stuff. Maybe it's about using the waiting and the suffering and the circumstances and the stuff to change me - my heart, my soul, my attitude, my beliefs, my endurance, my sanctification, my growth. Maybe God is up to something, up to doing something in
My prayer for the past few months has been: "God take this pain away. Make it stop. Remove the trials. Say yes to me. Take away my suffering. Fix all of my problems. Deliver me from this season."
Have you been there?
By the way, I know there's nothing wrong with any of those pleas. When we look at David and read the Psalms, we see clearly that lamenting and crying and releasing our real emotions and real pain is perfectly acceptable before our Father.
So I don't feel badly about those pleas. But I do believe that I've missed a lot of what God is doing and I've blinded myself from seeing the big picture. I've been so obsessed with wanting the pain to go away that I've ignored what God may be trying to do IN, WITH, THROUGH, my pain. Right now. While it's here. While it hasn't gone away.
The truth is that I don't know what God is doing or when this season will end. I don't know why all of these bad things are happening or why so much is being taken from me. I don't know why God won't give me the desires of my heart right now. I don't know why my circumstances continue to get more and more difficult.
But here is what I do know: that somehow, someway, for some reason, this is all for my good. That despite all of these trials, God is in fact for me, not against me. He will sustain me and carry me because it is what He has promised. He may not remove the pain or the tribulation, but He will be with me through it all. In my weakness, He will be strong for me. In my doubting, He will speak truth over me. In my crying and weeping, He will sit with me and comfort me and see me.
And in my suffering, He is doing something. I do not know what it is. But I do know who God is. And I know that He is working beneath the surface and behind the scenes, putting the pieces together, swapping and shifting and trading and changing people and circumstances and timing and futures and me. He is on the move; I just can't see it right now.
So maybe I will learn to see my suffering as the means by which and through which God changes me and sanctifies me and prepares me for what is to come. Maybe this suffering is somehow, someway, for some reason, for my good. Maybe I can learn to focus less on controlling and navigating my way out of the suffering, and focus more on what God may be doing and teaching me through, because of, the suffering.